• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 11/20/2014
    It continues to be an incredible month with so many exciting opportunities for robust learning.  I had the opportunity this week to be in a primary grade classroom with students studying ‘matter’ and noting its characteristics in their science journal.  The excitement in the classroom was palpable.  The engagement was contagious.  Who would know that monster truck characteristics could be so riveting?  That being said, I continue to be concerned with the mixed messages on testing and graduation requirements we continue to be buffeted by from those in legislative and ‘oversight’ positions.  
     
    Former President Jimmy Carter often spoke of his teacher in Plains, GA who had the message, “We must adjust to changing times, but cling to unchanging principles.”  In our house, we will continue to focus on the needs of the whole child and trust our professional judgment in maintaining high expectations for all students — no exceptions.  
     
    Some of you have been asked for data recently.  South Kitsap and the other districts in ESD 114 are the focus of this year’s OSPI Consolidated Program Review (CPR).  The CPR monitors 16 federal and state funded programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  South Kitsap has 13 of the 16 programs being monitored such as Title I, Part A, Learning Assistance Program, Civil rights, McKinney-Vento, and Career and Technical.  The CPR is comprised of two components, a desk top review whose documentation requirements are outlined in a 94 page OSPI developed checklists and a site visit.  South Kitsap’s program documentation is due by November 26th.  The onsite visit is scheduled for January 8th.  The onsite visit will consist of a team of OSPI program supervisors who will conduct a review of federal and state programs in our district.  They will also be visiting multiple school sites on that day.  The CPR checklist can be viewed at http://www.k12.wa.us/ConsolidatedReview/default.aspx
     
    The following is the estimated testing time for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments as posted by OSPI.  These are being looked at in context for decision making regarding the best mode for our upcoming assessments.  You will be hearing more on this topic from building principals in the coming weeks.  
     
    Summative ASsessments
     
    Below, is the calculated cost for the district to purchase paper and pencil tests for our students.  I find it reprehensible that we be charged to assess our students when the State has not supported the technology funds and infrastructure needs necessary to provide the optimal on-line testing option.  That being said, we are in the midst of decision making regarding the best path for our students as this is a great deal of money that we might otherwise use for purchasing technology or other support needs for our students. 

     

    Paper/Pencil Administration Costs

    Grade Level

    Count

    Math

    ELA

    Total

    3

    688

    4128

    4128

    $    8,256.00

    4

    712

    4272

    4272

    $    8,544.00

    5

    740

    4440

    4440

    $    8,880.00

    6

    719

    4314

    4314

    $    8,628.00

    7

    716

    4296

    4296

    $    8,592.00

    8

    751

    4506

    4506

    $    9,012.00

    11

    732

    4392

    4392

    $    8,784.00

    Totals

     

    $    30,348.00

     $   30,348.00

     $  60,696.00

    Building principals are working these details out with the collaborative support of our IT department and Teaching and Learning Department.  More to come on this topic.
     

    PSE is excited to offer up to $300 per PSE classified staff member for professional development. The funds are limited and staff need to download and fill out the form which is available on the district website under “Classified Staff”.  All forms need to be sent to Paula Rossa who is the PSE Professional Development Coordinator. This is a great opportunity for staff to get assistance for class fees, books, and materials for classes, book studies, and seminars. I hope everyone chooses to take advantage of this great opportunity!

     
    A work topic for the current year is the review of our current copier situation in the district and a selection of the best pathway for our future copier needs.  Our Budget Department will lead this work with collaborative input from you as well.  To that end, I am sharing this chart which outlines the current 2013-2014 copier maintenance and lease fees by building and department.  With regard to the work plan, this is the timeline for the copier refresh.  Given the budget implications, this is important work and worthy of our time and attention.  
     

    The Kitsap Sun recently published an article, “Washington Graduation Test Rules Up For Debate”, which looks at graduation testing and the transition to the new national common core standards. The State Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction want Washington lawmakers to reconsider which tests are required for high school graduation.  I have to say that now more than ever it is important for us to trust ourselves about what we are doing with the education of our children.  More to come on this topic.  

     

    Finally, take a moment to review this YouTube video, "A Study on Praise and Mindsets" from Carol Dweck, that was shared with me by a retired staff member who participates in the Communication Roundtable meetings each month.  This short video clip illustrates the critical role our language plays in the achievement and experience our children have with teaching and learning every day.  Another provocative thought…

     
    Please enjoy a great week-end.  Next week, I will provide the Thursday Memo on Wednesday as we will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
     

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

     
     
     
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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 11/13/2014

    What another incredible week!!  I am so impressed with the talent in this great district.  I have attended multiple Veterans Day Concerts and have been so moved by the  performances and heartfelt sentiments shared by our young people.  The respect and appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform is so important.  We owe them such a debt of gratitude for so many things both large and small.  I know these events require a great deal of effort and attention to detail on the part of so many staff in our schools.  It matters.  It also reminds us of the importance our fine and performing arts play in the story of our great nation.  It is the music that touches our souls in a manner that words alone cannot.  Thank you.

     

    I also had the privilege of attending the Veterans Day Celebration at our local Washington Veterans Home here in Port Orchard on Veterans Day morning.  I was so proud of our young NJROTC students as they played a significant role in the celebration of this special day.  Retired Captain Todd Schapler, one of our Naval Science Instructors at the high school, gave the poignant and inspiring keynote speech for the event.  Retired Senior Chief Harold Vickers, our other Naval Science Instructor, provided guidance to our young cadets as they mingled with the veterans at the home.  Members of our SKHS Highlighter Choir, under the direction of Mike Allen, our SKHS vocal music director, provided a beautiful musical selection enriching the program for the attending veterans and their guests.  It was a memorable event both for who we celebrated and the spirit with which we celebrated. 

     

    As the year progresses, there are many innovative programs emerging around the district.  I would like to highlight one of these that involves a new collaborative STEM grant awarded to two of our schools.  South Colby Elementary and John Sedgwick Junior High have been selected to be among 45 schools across Washington State to participate in a cutting-edge STEM and project based learning initiative. This initiative will provide teachers with stronger professional development in math and science teaching aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.  The professional development initiative uses state of the art video technology, demonstrated by teacher Jeff Winn, Jr., that enables teachers to take charge of their own professional learning. Teachers are able to use two styles of cameras to record and reflect on STEM lessons taught in their own classrooms with peers and STEM professionals. STEM-PD is part of the Washington STEM initiative.  Washington STEM is a statewide, nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  Launched in March 2011 with the support from the business, education, and philanthropic communities, the goal is to re-imagine and revitalize STEM education across Washington.  For a statewide list of schools participating in the initiative, go to www.washingtonstem.org/stem-pd.  Many thanks to Sara Hatfield and the Career and Technical Education Department of the district in doing the legwork on applying for this innovative grant.  This truly looks to be an innovative approach to professional development and links us to incredible resources.  Thank you. 

     

    As I was out this evening visiting a parent meeting, Val Kimball (formerly Gilstrap), our Indian Education Liaison for the district, shared some great student achievement data with me.  I thought it would be nice to share the academic success of our Native American students.  In all academic areas, these students are outperforming their state counterparts.  Our Native American students also continue to maintain a strong graduation rate which was 73% last year.  We are so proud of our student achievement and continue to be blessed to have Ms. Kimball supporting our students.  She is such an inspiration to so many. 

     

    As I continue my insatiable appetite for interesting research articles that might be a bit provocative, I would like to share the article our principal team reviewed this afternoon.  The article, Teach up for Excellence, by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Edwin Lou Javius, supports the premise that ‘all students deserve equitable access to an engaging and rigorous curriculum.’  What I particularly find engaging about this article is that it speaks to many practices we all hold dear while applying to any content we might find ourselves instructing.  There are certain universal instructional truths that apply to all content and all levels of student capacity and achievement.  This enables a broad discussion, whether we are in elementary or secondary schools,  qualitative or quantitative content genre, etc.  Please share any interesting observations you might have.

     

    Enjoy a great November week-end, 

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 11/6/2014

    What a great week we are having, though it is hard to believe it is the last week of October.  I trust that each of you will be having a Happy Halloween.  Also, a big shout out to the SKHS Girls’ Soccer Team as they clinched the Narrows League Championship last night.  Well done girls, Coach Cain and staff !!  We are proud of you !!

     

    As promised, I am providing a timeline for the Strategic Planning work we are doing this winter.  This work is moving forward and is critical for setting our district direction through 2020.  As we work to envision our ‘preferred future state’ we will be engaging with students, staff, families and the community.  This work is centered on what I will continue to be referring to as ‘the instructional core’ or the teaching and learning work done in the classroom.  The instructional core is the three way relationship between the students, teacher, and content.  There will be more to come as this process continues to unfold.  Please consider joining the conversation.  It matters.

     

    This past week-end, we had some wicked weather which created several schedule snarls for us. Most of the buildings within our district were affected. The impact on our high school was greater than the other buildings. A district owned high voltage electrical transformer located behind the high school was damaged when the system was re-energized. This transformer fed the auxiliary gym, the girls locker room, the laundry, the wrestling room, weight room and all of our stadium lighting. Puget Sound Energy was able to restore power to most of the high school by 11:00am Sunday. After power was restored, our intrepid Facilities Department staff worked around the clock with a variety of electrical contractors, parts distributors and POTELCO for nearly three days to troubleshoot and restore the damaged high school transformer to service. They were happy to report that the transformer was repaired and the building restored to 100% electrical service by 3:00pm Wednesday.  The resolution of the problem and restoration of power to our athletic areas and stadium was the direct  result of the hard work, long hours and spectacular  teamwork of the Facilities Department. Key personnel who were directly involved in getting us back on line included Nate Morrison, Don Simpson, Don Prichard, Ron Culverhouse, Butch Garber, Don Fike, Patrick Wilson, Guy Smith and Mike Riley.  We are so grateful for the dedicated work of this great team.  Well done !!

     

    With the recent school tragedy in Marysville, we have been reviewing security and safety procedures and practices in the district.  Our School Board recently held a Town Hall meeting on security and safety issues in September, we have continued to monitor safety and security drills across schools, the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) has met to review our practices, Board President Chris Lemke and I attended a regional security and safety meeting with first responders and district leadership from our region, etc.  I believe that as a district, we continue to make the safety of our students and staff a top priority.  That being said, if you have a particular safety or security concern or question, I would appreciate you sharing it with me or with your school principal.  We want to make sure we are addressing all topics ad concerns. 

     

    As part of the work we are doing across the district, I have received the following link from several teachers, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/10/24/teacher-spends-two-days-as-a-student-and-is-shocked-at-what-she-learned/ and thought it might be interesting to share with all of you.  This blog chronicles the experience one teacher had when viewing a school system from the point of view of a student.  If any of you are interested in such a research project, please do let me know and we can dialog about how this might be possible.  Again, I share this link as an invitation to a much larger conversation; one which you might discuss during a collaboration session for example.  I think it is interestingly provocative. 

     

    For the upcoming Board meeting, as a continuing part of my evaluation, we will be reviewing Executive Limitation 12, Instructional Program, and Executive Limitation 13, Instructional Material Selection.  These are two critical areas of our district work and ones that our Teaching and Learning Department have been diligently working on for the past several years.  It is another reason that district wide committees are in place and reviewing content areas, professional development, and assessment practices. 

     

    Finally, Friday afternoon, I will be sending an alternative memo, the Friday Footnotes version of this memo, for those who might prefer a more abridged and bulleted version. 

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 10/30/2014

    What a great week we are having, though it is hard to believe it is the last week of October.  I trust that each of you will be having a Happy Halloween.  Also, a big shout out to the SKHS Girls’ Soccer Team as they clinched the Narrows League Championship last night.  Well done girls, Coach Cain and staff !!  We are proud of you !!

     

    As promised, I am providing a timeline for the Strategic Planning work we are doing this winter.  This work is moving forward and is critical for setting our district direction through 2020.  As we work to envision our ‘preferred future state’ we will be engaging with students, staff, families and the community.  This work is centered on what I will continue to be referring to as ‘the instructional core’ or the teaching and learning work done in the classroom.  The instructional core is the three way relationship between the students, teacher, and content.  There will be more to come as this process continues to unfold.  Please consider joining the conversation.  It matters.

     

    This past week-end, we had some wicked weather which created several schedule snarls for us. Most of the buildings within our district were affected. The impact on our high school was greater than the other buildings. A district owned high voltage electrical transformer located behind the high school was damaged when the system was re-energized. This transformer fed the auxiliary gym, the girls locker room, the laundry, the wrestling room, weight room and all of our stadium lighting. Puget Sound Energy was able to restore power to most of the high school by 11:00am Sunday. After power was restored, our intrepid Facilities Department staff worked around the clock with a variety of electrical contractors, parts distributors and POTELCO for nearly three days to troubleshoot and restore the damaged high school transformer to service. They were happy to report that the transformer was repaired and the building restored to 100% electrical service by 3:00pm Wednesday.  The resolution of the problem and restoration of power to our athletic areas and stadium was the direct  result of the hard work, long hours and spectacular  teamwork of the Facilities Department. Key personnel who were directly involved in getting us back on line included Nate Morrison, Don Simpson, Don Prichard, Ron Culverhouse, Butch Garber, Don Fike, Patrick Wilson, Guy Smith and Mike Riley.  We are so grateful for the dedicated work of this great team.  Well done !!

     

    With the recent school tragedy in Marysville, we have been reviewing security and safety procedures and practices in the district.  Our School Board recently held a Town Hall meeting on security and safety issues in September, we have continued to monitor safety and security drills across schools, the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) has met to review our practices, Board President Chris Lemke and I attended a regional security and safety meeting with first responders and district leadership from our region, etc.  I believe that as a district, we continue to make the safety of our students and staff a top priority.  That being said, if you have a particular safety or security concern or question, I would appreciate you sharing it with me or with your school principal.  We want to make sure we are addressing all topics ad concerns. 

     

    As part of the work we are doing across the district, I have received the following link from several teachers, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/10/24/teacher-spends-two-days-as-a-student-and-is-shocked-at-what-she-learned/ and thought it might be interesting to share with all of you.  This blog chronicles the experience one teacher had when viewing a school system from the point of view of a student.  If any of you are interested in such a research project, please do let me know and we can dialog about how this might be possible.  Again, I share this link as an invitation to a much larger conversation; one which you might discuss during a collaboration session for example.  I think it is interestingly provocative. 

     

    For the upcoming Board meeting, as a continuing part of my evaluation, we will be reviewing Executive Limitation 12, Instructional Program, and Executive Limitation 13, Instructional Material Selection.  These are two critical areas of our district work and ones that our Teaching and Learning Department have been diligently working on for the past several years.  It is another reason that district wide committees are in place and reviewing content areas, professional development, and assessment practices. 

     

    Finally, Friday afternoon, I will be sending an alternative memo, the Friday Footnotes version of this memo, for those who might prefer a more abridged and bulleted version. 

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • News Bulletin

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 10/24/2014

    By this time, you have no doubt heard about the tragic incident that took place at Marysville Pilchuck today.  Like you, I am shocked and saddened that events such as these occur in our schools.  No words are adequate to describe such a tragedy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, family members, staff, and community affected by this incident at Marysville Pilchuck High School. 

     

    As students and staff learning and working in our schools, and families that support you; I know that each of these incidents have an effect on you as well.  It is so difficult to understand when events such as these take place.   To that end, I want to assure you that your safety continues to be our top priority. We are continually making improvements and upgrades to ensure our buildings and facilities offer safe learning environments for all of us and our partnerships with local law enforcement are solid. 

     

    With regard to the reactions that many of our students may have to the incident today; please refer to the resource I am providing as it has many ideas for how to help children and families cope with this topic http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/terror_general.aspx .  I would also like to remind you of the parent safety tips document prepared last spring with input from staff. 

     

    Finally, I pray for that peace that passes all understanding to settle upon all those who are dealing directly with this incident in Marysville, and all those affected both near and far by this tragedy.  We will continue to draw our strength from one another, as families do. 

     

    Please contact me if you have any questions regarding our school and district safety plans. 

     

    Warmest regards,

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 10/23/2014

    What a great week we are having, albeit a bit wet…  It is homecoming week at the high school and all those in the district that are proud graduates of South Kitsap High School are no doubt sporting their alma mater gear.  It has been said that ‘Homecoming unites the past and the present.’  I think this is especially true for our community.  I have been struck by how many of our staff members have grown up in this community and returned to raise their own families. Our schools are rich in tradition and we truly value the spirit that is South Kitsap. We share the common belief that the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.  

     

    I plan on sharing key information on our strategic district-wide initiatives over the next several weeks.  This week, I will focus on our Long Range Capital Facilities Planning Committee.  This group is made up of district leadership, community members, and architectural expertise.  Our goal is to provide a data driven plan for the most effective and efficient use of our district schools for the coming thirty years.  As we endeavor to educate the 21st Century Whole Child, we recognize the world is changing and therefore the teaching and learning experiences our children will need to have are also changing.  Our communication plan is evolving as is our work.  I so appreciate all of the school staff who have provided feedback as we are visiting all the schools to check on the ‘educational adequacy’ of each site.  Please also visit the web-site for more details. 

     

    This past week, our Community Transition Program’s luncheon and chili cook-off for first responders took place on 10/17: The winners of the Chili Cook-Off were:  1st – Kitsap County Sheriff; Awarded for “Awesome” – Kitsap Fire and Rescue; Awarded for “Amazing” – Port Orchard Police; Awarded for “Fantastic” – Port Orchard Parking Enforcement.  This was an exciting event for both students and staff and another example of the amazing work these program staff, led by Robin Christman, do every day.  This month also happens to be Disability History Month.  There are many amazing people who overcame disabilities to shape the world we live in today.   Thank you to all our dedicated staff who work with our students that have disabilities and support them each and every day as they find their unique mountain top experiences.  Well done!!

     

    I want to thank all those of you who took the time to respond to the recent Communication Survey.  The Board had an opportunity to review all of the information and we were able to have a robust conversation regarding my communication planning.  As I continue to work hard to meet the needs of a vast and differentiated staff, I am committed to improving my skills in this regard.  I appreciate the constructive criticism and know that I can integrate many of the suggestions into my daily work.  One example is that beginning next week, I will also be sending a Friday Footnote in the afternoon Fridays for those folks who would rather read a more streamlined ‘skim version’ of my Thursday Memo.  This will be in a more bulleted format; yet endeavor to retain an abridged view of topics discussed in my more narrative Thursday Memo.  I will also work to include more information ahead of key decision points so that I am not only reporting decisions after the fact, as well as updating you more frequently on key district-wide initiatives; e.g., IB, STEM, ADK, etc..  Please review my plan and feel free to offer any other suggestions you might think I would find helpful.   Thank you.

     

    As we emerge from our recent financial morass and celebrate our enrollment surge, we are making strategic decisions to sustain our support for the Whole Child.  I recently met with our school district nurses and reviewed their current workload which has significantly escalated in the past several years.  A review of their data also reveals that the acuity of health needs has dramatically increased for our student body.  With these facts in mind, I did approve the reinstatement of previously cut nursing time to increase the district nursing team by .40 FTE positions.  This brings them back to the staffing ratios present in the 2012-13 school year.  As this is an add to the current budget, I believe it important to process this transparently and note that this hardworking team continues to support all our students in each of our schools compassionately and professionally.  In the next couple of weeks, you might see some adjustments in their schedule and school assignments as they work with Dave Colombini and principals to best distribute their hours and services.  I know I join you in thanking them for all their hard work.  Well done. 

     

    I want to give a shout out to the SK high school cross country team for hosting a tremendous Homecoming Fun Run this past Saturday.  Coach Erin Fraser, her staff  and athletes, hosted a great event with positive energy and community support.  While I confess I did not ‘tear up the course’ it was a fun event to participate in.  Go SK XC!!

     

    Believe in the Pack and Go Wolves!

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 10/16/2014

    What a fantastic week!!  I know that there is a great deal of preparation work in each school as we prepare for parent conference week next week.  This is such a significant opportunity to partner with parents as we continue to support each and every child in this incredible journey to a world class education.  I also know that it is a great deal of work to prepare for the myriad questions parents and guardians will ask about their child and their progress.  I appreciate it.  I continue to visit schools and meet with students for breakfast as well as visit classrooms.  This is the best part of my work and keeps me grounded in our work; the teaching and learning that occurs in the schools, and more specifically in each classroom in the district.  I am so proud of the work going on in our schools. 

     

    Several of the district wide committees have kicked off their annual work plan.  This week, the District Assessment Committee kicked off their work with a meeting Wednesday evening at Marcus Whitman Junior High School.  Mr. Brian Carlson, the principal at Marcus Whitman Junior High, is leading this important work and has as is leadership buddy, Ms. Misty Dieffenbach, our Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.  Ms. Sheila Cochran is providing the secretarial support for this hard working group.  I attended the meeting to present their charge for the work expected to be completed during the current year prior to June 1, 2015.  As part of their work, they are doing a book study on a book titled, Embedded Formative Assessment, by Dylan Wiliam.  If you would also be interested in reading this book, please let me know and we will provide you a copy.  Minutes of this and all the other committees will be routinely available on our web-site and I will also be periodically highlighting different committees in this memo. 

     

    Another committee, the District Professional Development Systems Council (PDSC) has recently begun its critical work.  Mr. Jay Villars, the principal at John Sedgwick Junior High is leading this important work and has as his leadership buddy, Ms. Tracy Patterson, our new Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations.  Ms. Vivian Jensen is providing the secretarial support for this hard working group.  I attended their first meeting and provided the charge for their work to be delivered at the end of this academic year as well.  Minutes of this committee will also be provided on-line and be periodically highlighted in this memo. 

     

    As next week is conference week, we are excited to again be providing several opportunities for classified staff development.  The staff development flyer describes the opportunities available for all classified staff.  In addition to the sessions listed on the aforementioned flyer, the Office of Special Education is offering courses geared toward special education paraprofessionals.  For more information on this flyer and courses, please contact Ms. Shelby MacMeekin.  These are very challenging professional job assignments and we appreciate any ideas you might have for future courses in the spring.  Thank you to all those supporting and attending these staff development sessions.

     

    I appreciate all of your efforts today as we took part in the district wide Earthquake Drill.  This drill planning is so important to all of us.  While I know at times these practice sessions seem tedious; but, the students always comment on their importance when we discuss safety at Breakfast Club meetings.  These drills provide a sense of security as we feel more prepared to deal with the unexpected.  As long as we are prepared well, we can handle anything.  Thank you.

     

    This week, for the first time in our district, we had students at the secondary schools take the PSAT test during school hours.  This was a huge undertaking and as with all events that occur for the first time, we have notes on how to smooth out the implementation challenges.  Overall, there were 656 total PSAT tests taken.  Of these, SKHS: 374 students; Cedar: 62 students; Marcus: 70 students; and, Sedgwick: 150 students (139 9th grade and 11 8th grade) took the exam.  This is great as many students have been able to have a practice run at this potentially high stakes scholarship exam so they are better prepared for the exam in the future, and they will receive valuable information on possible course selection options in their remaining high school years.  Also, many families are challenged with transportation to get students to the schools on Saturday.  For running start students, having the PSAT exam given during the school day is more problematic.  We are looking into the possibility of having both options for our students in the future.  I want to thank all of those involved in this text administration, particularly the guidance counselors and their staff as well as facilities staff who delivered tables, and all support staff, teachers and principals who made this possible.  It was a team effort.  It matters. 

     

    Finally, I had occasion to visit with the District Math Committee this week as they are back at it for the new year.  Ms. Shannon Thompson is leading this work along with the teachers who share the passion for this content area.  An article they are currently reviewing caught my interest and so I thought I would share it with you.  Why Do Americans Stink at Math?, by Elizabeth Green, is a very provocative article and one that might be a nice collaboration topic.  I find that looking at challenges from all frames of reference help us interrogate the best pathway to a better future.  Thanks to Ms. Bressert, SKHS math teacher, for providing the article. 

     

    Have a great rest of the week and restful week-end.

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

     

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 10/10/2014

    What a great week!!  The full moon is so prophetic in terms of energy and excitement.  The atmosphere and weather have been incredible; especially when compared to so many other parts of our country this fall.  I am also pleased with the October 1 headcount report recently submitted to the state.  We are growing for the first time in sixteen years and with that growth comes opportunity and stability.  As we continue to be disciplined and innovative, we will continue to be amazing!!  Thank you.

     

    This past week at our school board meeting, we had the opportunity to honor several NIB recipients  NIB award photo gallery.  Mr. Brian Pickard, principal at South Colby Elementary School, nominated Logan Gleason, and his parents Sandra and Timm Gleason, for their work in earning the Eagle Scout rank and supporting the earning of the Eagle Scout rank respectively.  Logan worked hard on several projects at South Colby Elementary and his work is much appreciated.  Ms. Laurie MacMillan, Summer Lunch Program Coordinator, honored Rebecca and Gabrielle King for their hard work and support during the summer lunch program this past summer.  Well done!!

     

    At the board meeting, we also had a monitoring report for Ends 2 – ‘The South Kitsap School District will enable all students to grow to their full potential while in school and to develop the desire and ability to become lifelong learners.’  Principal Brian Carlson, from Marcus Whitman Junior High, introduced three members of his ASB group to the Board.  Juliana Miller, Grace Ebuen, and Leila Cruz, talked to the Board about their experience at Marcus Whitman Junior High and their dreams for the future.  Captain Todd Schapler, Senior Naval Science Instructor, and Sr. Chief Petty Officer, Harold Vickers, Naval Science Instructor, presented three of their leadership cadets (Alexander Speise, Tyler Hammrick, and Nathaniel Speise) to the Board who spoke about the goals of the SKHS NJROTC Program for the year and then shared their personal goals.  All these young people are very impressive.  Well taught and well learned will always lead to well led.  Mr. Mark Gudger, and Mr. David Listoe, both IB coordinators from Cedar Heights and Hidden Creek respectively, presented information regarding the progress of the IB initiatives at their schools.  Very informative. 

     

    During the course of the Board meeting, the Board reviewed and affirmed their commitment to Board/ Superintendent Relations Policy 1 and Board/ Superintendent Relations Policy 2; The Governance Process Policies and the Board/Superintendent Relations Policies are monitored through Board self-assessment.

     

    As I have previously mentioned, our school district is one that operates by Policy Governance.  This means that the Board of Directors has Ends (there are eight of them) that are our district goals and then govern by holding the superintendent accountable for the means or the Executive Limitations (there are fifteen of them).  These then are regularly reviewed publicly and form the background for my annual evaluation.  Executive Limitation 3 and Executive Limitation 4 are to be reviewed later this month.  For these, the Board has asked for external data; in this case to be provided by staff in the district.  To that end, I am providing a link to a survey monkey (very quick survey) on the strength and effectiveness of my communication with you.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TF9ZVL8 .  This data goes to Amy Miller who will compile the summary report for the Board to be discussed at the October 21 meeting.  Please take a moment to fill this out so that I can continue to improve my leadership of our district.  As this has been open for a week, the survey will close on Monday, October 13.  Thank you for your thoughtful participation.

     

    This past week, several of the district committees have begun and involve many staff members from all across the district.  I want to take a moment and personally thank all of you who are so generous with your time to assist, support and lead this important work.  It matters. 

     

    As we continue to work to support our children and families, I am pleased to report that our partnership with the YMCA is scheduled to begin at Burley Glenwood and Sunnyslope on Tuesday 10/14.  At these two schools, we are continuing to take information and registration.  Please contact staff at these schools for more information. 

     

    Let’s enjoy another beautiful week-end.  Warmest regards
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  • And So Fall Begins- article for the Port Orchard Independent

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 10/8/2014

    It has been a smooth start to another great school year for many students in the South Kitsap School District, both young and old. As the weather turns from the warm sunny days of summer to the cooler and bracing days of fall, we are so excited by the many exciting learning opportunities our record number of students and staff are engaged in. For the first time in sixteen years, we are seeing an increase in enrollment rather than a decrease.

    On behalf of our Board of Directors, I want to thank the many community members who took the time to attend our recent Town Hall Meeting held at the high school and those community leaders who took the time to come and share their experiences and insights.  It is important for us to share information on important district initiatives; we plan to continue our conversation with the community as we move forward this coming year. 

    There are a number of initiatives we are focused on this year.  Several of our schools are working on becoming STEM focused schools which is another way of saying that we are developing a more comprehensive approach to science, technology, engineering and mathematics at these schools.  This is exciting because our state continues to have a high need for graduates with STEM strengths.  Other schools are focused on becoming International Baccalaureate (IB) schools.   This curriculum is both rigorous and student centered providing many advantages to learners. 

    Our Spanish Immersion Program and Pacific Rim language additions are up and running as are the new Advanced Placement (AP) courses at the junior highs and high school.  We are committed to high expectations for all children and are resolute about providing high support to get them there.  Our exemplary staff continue to unwaveringly commit to providing a world class education for each child – no exceptions.  As we continue our work toward the District 2020 Goal of having 80% of our graduates successfully enter post-secondary education, we will continue to partner with parents, families, and the community. 

    With the new school year upon us, and the bright hopes for a great fall term, I want to remind each of us to take an extra minute and provide encouragement and support to a young person as they work on their studies.  The power of that positive encouragement and support is one that strengthens our community and inspires our youth to do their best.  This power of inspired innovation is one that holds the key for our collective future.   

     

     

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  • Thursday Memo (Survey Attached)

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 10/2/2014

    And so, we are in the throes of the first week of October already; hard to believe.  October is a month of committee beginnings across the district and the work of integrating many voices as we all collectively support the teaching and learning work across this proud district. 

     

    I am so proud of our principals and their willingness to step up and lead some very important district wide initiatives.  This evening was the kick off meeting for the District Highly Capable Task Force led by Ms. Kris Christenberry, Assistant Principal at Marcus Whitman Junior High.  I have assigned a district Cabinet level member to be a ‘leadership mentor’ to each of the principals leading a district wide initiative this year and Jay Rosapepe, our District Director of Transportation, will be serving in this role for Kris.  As I met with the large group, I presented the charge to the group for their work this year.  I look forward to their recommendations.  I will be updating you on the various other committees as they begin their work.  If you have not already, please consider joining one of these groups so that we can all benefit from your experience.

     

    This week also signaled the return of the Citizen’s Budget Advisory Team (CBAT) to the important work of budget review.  The agenda for the evening led to robust conversation and a careful review of our purpose and direction for the year.  More to come on this topic as the coming weeks and months unfold.  Another group that will be meeting soon will be led by Rita Reandeau, our District Special Education Director.  I have asked Rita to convene a group to look at the equitable distribution of our special education programs across the district.  This work will be done in concert with the boundary review committee led by Dave Colombini, our Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services.  Rita is planning to have recommendations on equitable program placement by January so that this information can be considered as the boundary review committee led by Dave, must deliver their recommendations to me by March. 

     

    As I have previously mentioned, our school district is one that operates by Policy Governance.  This means that the Board of Directors has Ends that are our district goals and then govern by holding the superintendent accountable for the means or the Executive Limitations (there are fifteen of them).  These then are regularly reviewed publicly and form the background for my annual evaluation.  Executive Limitation 3 and Executive Limitation 4 are to be reviewed later this month.  For these, the Board has asked for external data; in this case to be provided by staff in the district.  To that end, I am providing a link to a survey monkey (very quick survey) on the strength and effectiveness of my communication with you.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TF9ZVL8 .  This data goes to Amy Miller who will compile the summary report for the Board to be discussed at the October 21 meeting.  Please take a moment to fill this out so that I can continue to improve my leadership of our district. 

     

    As we continue to review and improve our care and safety practices, I want to alert you to a new process we will be utilizing in the transportation department.  From here forward, we will be formalizing our release of the youngest learners when we transport them home by bus.  Our district transportation department has done significant research into best practice with regard to safety for our youngest learners.  The new form will be required of all families and while we recognize this will be more work for many, it will keep our children safer as it requires a receiving adult or plan.   I thank all of those involved in this process for your extra efforts.  It matters. 

     

    You may have noticed that Tracy Patterson, our Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations, Lee Fenton, from BLRB Architects, and I have been touring schools this week.  We are doing an ‘educational adequacy’ study as I have previously explained.  The schedule for these meetings is set to enable us to visit all schools prior to our meeting on October 22.  Our Long Range Capital Facilities Committee continues to work on this important topic as our community continues to grow. 

     

    Finally, I have an interesting and provocative article regarding The Path Least Taken, an article whose quest it is to better understand more about high school graduates who do not go on to college.  This September 2014 article has as its ‘big takeaway’ that “it is important for public schools to prepare all students to be life-long learners, regardless of whether or not they go to college.  Such preparation includes rigorous courses and more student support, especially in bridging the gulf between aspiration and attainment.  …”  More food for thought….   Please share any comments, insights or thoughts you might have on this challenging topic. 

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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